For once, I’m genuinely interested in something Erik Evans posted. He thinks we’re returning to an era when defenses are starting to regain some control over offenses. And here’s one of the data points he raises as proof of that:
Scoring is down. All of those things have combined to mean that scoring is down, particularly at the margins: Since 2015, an average of 11 teams have hit 40+ PPG, with the scoring leader reaching at least 48 PPG every season. No team in 2021 was even at 48 PPG. Only one team even hit 45 PPG, and only five even hit the 40+ PPG mark. Overall, the average college football game is played at lower octane than it was in, say, 2018.
Now, data is data, so that’s fine, in and of itself. My issue with that is it’s hard to argue a trend that involves a pandemic-limited season along with last year’s roster-adjusted play. But I don’t want to dismiss his take out of hand, so I think I’ll keep an eye on scoring this season to see how it plays out.
At the moment, there are seven teams averaging more than 50 points a game, another seven (including Alabama!) averaging more than 45 points a game and sixteen more that are at the 40-point or better threshold. I grant you the sample size is small, but that’s a thirty-team total, so if he’s right, we should expect a lot of fallout in the coming weeks. Like I said, I’ll check back on this, because I’m interested.